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By N.C. Brady (Eds.)

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8. , 1980)l. D. APPLICATIONS OF MYCORRHIZAL POTENTIAL IN AGRICULTURE, PASTURE,HORTICULTURE, AND FORESTRY After the recognition that mycorrhizas improve plant growth and nutrition, the next logical step in mycorrhizal research to investigate the possibilities of their practical exploitation by harnessing the advantages of the symbioses. The first point of interest is to attempt to preserve the natural mycorrhizal potential as it exists in the field; the second is to try to improve this potential.

16 J. M. BAREA AND C. AZC6N-AGUILAR 1 . Plant Species: Mycorrhizal Dependency Certain plant species require mycorrhizas to a much greater extent than do others, and this is usually referred to as mycorrhizal dependency, which is “the degree to which a plant is dependent on the mycorrhizal condition to produce its maximum growth or yield, at a given level of soil fertility” (Gerdemann, 1975). 5 mm and lacking root hairs are highly dependent on VAM. 1 mm respond to mycorrhiza only in P-deficient soil (Baylis, 1970; St.

1983). Obviously, for each plant there will be a level of available phosphate in the soil to which this plant will respond similarly whether or not it is mycorrhizal. Above this level, inoculation is not necessary. b. Test Soil Fertility. Because positive responses are to be expected mainly in low-phosphate soils and where the native endophytes are sparse or inefficient, the number and effectiveness of propagules of the family Endogonaceae and the phosphate status are usually determined in the soil where inoculation is to be tried.

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